Tuesday, October 31, 2006

instead of handing out goodies to ghouls ...

i'm sitting at the starbucks at penn and 20th, watching the sun sink into the sky over virginia and trying to determine whether i should go to class, or keep working on my evidence outline (the latter being the much more productive option). raggedy ann has just appeared, waiting for her andy as she smokes a cigarette and exposes the tattoo on her left arm. she pulled up on a well-worn bike, equiped with a tarot card snug between the spokes. she must be a courier on all days except october 31st, i deduct as she pulls the packages out of her bag. a man appears (not andy!) and gives her a lollipop. she takes it, juggling it and the thin envelopes that threaten to blow away, all the while with the cigarette dangling from her smiling lips. if only i had a fraction of this girl's coordination. and some stripey red and white tights.

this starbucks, four blocks from 1600 penn, is motorcade central. it seems that every time i'm here, a caravan of dark, speeding, unmarked, loud cars hurl past in precise formation. between the slutty raggedy ann courier and the motorcade, the retired tourist couple enjoying the balmy night on the sidewalk can hardly contain themselves. she clutches his hand as the sirens blare, both of their necks craning for a clear view into the darkly tinted windows.

the law students have started pouring into the starbucks, on cue 20 minutes before night classes begin. evidence, it turns out, waits for no trick or treaters.

Monday, October 30, 2006

metro monday

this is a new segment i'm starting to highlight the oddities of public transportation. B and i have started riding the metro into the city together in the mornings, and invariably we find ourselves silently laughing hysterically at one or more choice personalities.

i was concerned that the inaugural monday wouldn't provide any characters. but oh was i wrong. because danny devito was on the metro this morning. or maybe it just looked like him since i hadn't had any coffee yet.

first of all, he was balding. no big deal. but the choices he had made about his balding head were ... interesting. i could see from across the aisle that he had shaved those parts of the top of his head that were outside the perfect semi-circle of hair still left. my policy on balding is simple. if you are balding, shave your head. period. not shaving is squarely against my platform on balding. but shaving PARTS of it ... i hadn't even contemplated that as part of my policy on balding. now that i have seen it in real life, i'd like to announce shaving part of your head to sculpt the remaining hair line is also totally against my policies on balding.

also, he had on these straight-from-1982 black ray bans. he was wearing them in the metro, which i'm usually cool with, but was also reading his blackberry at the same time. don't people wear their shades on the trade to either sleep or people watch without detection? that was strange.

the suit - not much to say there ... it was wrinkled and too long. oh, the pants were cuffed. cuffed pants on men: also against my policies.

but the most mysterious thing about this strange man was what i saw on his attache case as i left. a VIP pass for the who.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

friday night, in two parts

friday night, part one.

on the train home from work, all i could think of was how quickly the new thai place would be able to deliver our dinner - pad c'ew or thai barbecue? maybe sweet and sour chicken. after placing the order i saved the number on my cell phone. let's be honest with ourselves ... two jobs and two advanced degrees at hand? ordering in can't be avoided. and this place is the bomb. when you have a thai restaurant on speed-dial ... what exactly does that say?

exhausted from last weekend's short trip to detroit and trying to catch up on all that missed homework, i knew the birthday party we were going to attend on the hill would require tapping into a reserve of energy that i was unsure i had. but it's not every day a girl gets to celebrate a birthday with someone who has actually danced with ellen! (hot diggity dog!) after a totally satisfying dinner of quickly-delivered thai and a trip to the stationery store for a gift set of kate spade notecards (snail mail! oh god so clever!) we were ready to go.

we walked down pennsylvania avenue to the bar, with the rain coming down in sheets and the two of us folded together under our umbrella. my heels were clicking along, trying to keep up with b, as the lights from the dome of the library of congress reflected off the soaked pavement. a small family crossed the street in front of us, and the 3ish boy stomped into a puddle, much to the mixed amusement and annoyance of his young parents. but he wasn't our kid, and we thought it was hilarious.

when we got to the bar, the bouncer somehow deciphered that we were with the private party, shunned our IDs, and sent us upstairs. this place is a university of michigan football bar on saturdays, and we've spent a few choice fall days as part of a group jumping and screaming and daring the century-old wood floors. but tonight, it was 80s music that filled the place up to the tall, beamed ceilings. the bartender is a graduate student with b. this, at first, seemed fortuitous. turns out, not so much. turns out her version of amaretto on the rocks is a bit more amaretto and a bit less rocks than my liver is accustomed to. but she was super nice, turned off the game when the tigers lost and snapped at a cardinals fan who protested.

maybe it was ej's musings that got me thinking ... but i couldn't help but wish that the 15-year-old me could have seen into the future, to see me on that night. that young me would have been able to rest so much easier in our future ... something about dancing to madonna along with all these other women with high heels and master's degrees ... i sighed in relief, so firm in that i'm going to be ok, that the chances are slim of waking up at 40 unhappy and convinced i had wasted my intellect and potential. i was all smiles, carefree and happy even though the tigers lost. in hindsight, i wonder if it was actually all that liquor making me so misty and sentimental ...

part two.

it's hard to pinpoint when exactly i knew that the evening had slipped out of control. it may have been when i dropped my freshly lit cigarette onto the old hardwood floors in the bar and ... well ... i picked it up and took a drag. maybe it was when i first crawled into the cab and shoved all the cash from my pocket into b's hand - a silent gesture that i would not be interacting with our fine driver. or when i looked at the dome of the library of congress again but this time the lights and the rain and the dome kind of melted into one big mass of bright. but i think those were just foreshadowing moments.

as we drove back into virginia, over the potomac, my window down all the way and the rain pouring in and pelting my red-from-liquor cheeks, the pentagon and that god awful new air force memorial piercing the sky - that's when it hit me. that's when i knew it was bad. (wasn't just me. i read this paragraph to b ... the windows were down in the cab?) that's when i knew that the night the tigers lost the world series had risen to the same historical status as the tequila incident of 2003. and the time i thought i'd be fun to mix my own long island ice teas. not quite as bad as those two landmarks, but up there.

when we finally stumbled into the building, i prayed the doorman wasn't there to see me in such a state. but the thing is ... i forgot to check. or if i did, i just don't remember.


i didn't forget a sunday picture - blogger won't let me post one. i don't know why.

so click here. it's prince street in old town alexandria. sorry to make you click. stupid blogger.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

s does current affairs

and in so doing, exposes her previously closely guarded political beliefs to the whole world. or at least, the whole world who knows the five letters after s.*

today's headlines

rush limbaugh should go fuck himself.

(alternatively, i was thinking of making some clever remark about how someone should tell him that when you're taking a prescription for a disease as opposed to recreationally, measuring efficacy is different ... but then i thought of him taking viagra and then i remembered exactly what he was accusing alex p. keaton of ... and, well, all i could think is this guy can go fuck himself.)

america. new jersey is ushering us into an enlightened, modern, accepting era of civil rights. new jersey, people. doesn't this tell us something?!

(ps sorry new jersey. but it's true. ps i loved garden state.)

*and of course if you do know those five little letters, you probably already know where i stand on these and all issues.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

on récolte ce qu'on seme!

pedestrians, fear not! sometimes, karma does reward that bastard in the mercedes. promise!

since i've admittedly had few interesting, non-bathroom-related observations of late, i've decided to stretch out all the fun from the past few days just a little bit. so i'll start by telling the weekend story with recounting some unadulterated pedestrian joy lo friday night.

following another satisfying meal at our new favorite thai place , b and i were enjoying a cool walk home along wilson boulevard when we nearly witnessed a 20-something (crossing the street in a totally legal fashion) get hit by a prick in a big mercedes, accompanied by plenty of uncalledfor honking.

little did the aforementioned prick know ... those two motorcyclists behind him were actually cops. and they totally pulled his prick ass over.

the 20-something finished crossing the street just as we arrived at the corner - just as the cops turned on their lights. and our jaws dropped. the 20-something turned to us ... did you SEE that?! that was fucking awesome!!! [insert profuse air punching]

and as we crossed the street alongside the prick in the mercedes, as he sat there like a fool waiting for his ticket - we laughed. we laughed and pointed, and the cops smiled at us.

Friday, October 20, 2006

those were the days

remember when a note from home could excuse you from just about every painful school-related experience as a kid? man i miss that.

best bud rk - probably sick and tired of hearing me bitch about this thing via gmail all morning - finally took things into her own hands ... and decided to write me a note. she emailed it to me so i could just forward it along to the appropriate law school staff. super thoughtful.


Dear Law School:

Please excuse SB from her law thing tomorrow.

While I'm sure many students find this a useful and productive exercise, S finds the whole thing very painful.

In addition, she has other commitments that take precedence (note the use of a law word) over this law thing. These are commitments that require her to be in Detroit, MI for the duration of this law thing.

With this in mind, I am sure you won't object (another law word) to S missing this law thing. Thank you for your understanding.


awe. some.

THEN - b, issued a concurring opinion upon being forwarded rk's opinion. it follows:

There is clear precedence for S' participation in cheering for the Detroit Tigers. S is considered the forewoman of the fan club jury and her participation in playoff efforts is essential to victory in this case. Much like an amicus brief might sway the ruling of the justices, her cheering is required for Tiger victories. S must be excused. This is not a request, but a ruling from the 2006 Detroit circuit.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

perhaps there's some truth to the maxim: "write what you know"

which for me means ... obviously ... my office bathroom.

this is not a good week. i'm all about hard work, sure, but this moot court competition has consumed me, and i'm ready to shelf it in favor of actually preparing for class. so i've been keeping my head down, in a book or in front of my laptop, trying to just will the hours by. i'm torn, dreading saturday (arguments from 10-3) and simultaneously thrilled for it (flight for detroit and the world series leaves at 5).

so, since my head has been down, i've been less observant than usual. but i do have some bathroom-related humor to share. lately this has been a hot topic for me. and i've been torn about whether to share the new developments ... the problem is this. b wonders if i should take my blog down the road of bathroom humor? is that what i want this to be? but b's boss (hey HEY hey!) thinks there's a market out there for bathroom humor.

the decision was made by the fact that i haven't had anything remotely interesting to blog about in days. except the tigers. and i'm not one to blog a dead horse.

so i blog what i know. the weirdos that use my office bathroom.

here goes.

turns out the crazy germaphobs in my office *literally* refuse to allow any surface of the bathroom to come into contact with any part of their body ... you're thinking, ok, s, we know this. the doorknobs, the sink handles, the twice-daily cleaned porcelain. what else? i'll tell you what else! the locks on the doors! how, oh how, do i know this you wonder? whilst i was washing my hands in the WC earlier this week, i witnessed my kind and polite boss accidentally opened the stall door in use by a known germaphob. boss apologized, and germaphob responded - that's ok - i didn't lock it.

she didn't lock it.

she didn't lock the stall door.

here's the thing. i'd rather have 4 square centimeters on two of my fingers touch the lock on the bathroom stall than risk exposing my vijayjay to an office-mate. but hey, those are my priorities.

who thinks i should start accidentally opening bathroom stall doors to see if it's an office-wide trend? or would that make me weird? or should i not worry about that because i've already blogged thrice about the bathroom habits of my office-mates?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

what a sunday morning!

this deserves more than just one picture.

no sunday morning picture(s) next week. i'll be in detroit, fools.

Friday, October 13, 2006

welcome to detroit city

it's cold, it's snowy, it's windy. this type of weather is what people expect for the super bowl, not game three of the alcs. but it's michigan, and you never can be too sure.

i'm rushing home today after work, meeting b and rk at home, and we'll all pile onto our bed (because the tv is in the bedroom - it's a small apartment, what can i say?) with a big bowl of popcorn and watch kenny rogers ... i can't say it. mitch albom can say it. but i can't. i can't tell you that i've been looking at the prices of flights to detroit, next weekend ... to watch a game (even if from a bar downtown) that may or may not happen ... i can't say it not only because i'm not sure if i'd laugh or cry while saying it, but also because i can't jinx it for b. he seemed almost depressed after game four against the yankees, because i think he was afraid they'd break his heart, this team. the pain of losing, the further we get into november, will i think increase as well.

that's why i can't say it. i won't tell you what i'm thinking. (i can't.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

prank calls and giggles

it is frightful how quickly i can regress back to seventh grade.

my morning round of internet putzing led me to some of the most fun i've had in a while.

for free, you can put your number (please.) on dwight schrute's call list. obviously, i've been going through every number in my cell phone and placing my fellow office watchers on the list. prank calling, and waiting for a reaction. will they know it's me?* that i'm the culprit? good, clean fun.

so next time your phone rights from an unknown number, be ready. it might be dwight berating you for not being adult enough to show up at work on time.

*(probably they will. who else has this kind of time on their hands? and in the epic battle between prank calls and reading about complex litigation, who do you think wins?)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

sunday morning

and a fine october sunday morning it is.

the detroit skyline, from comerica park, the home of the tigers.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jim: Ever since I was a little kid, like eight or nine, I could sort of control things with my mind. Dwight: I don't believe you, continue.

it's friday, dreary. a slow, cold, rainy day that demands mid-day naps on the couch under heaps of blankets, not updating databases and running reports.

something had to be done to save this day.

as i watched a fellow office mate spend four minutes scrubbing up to her elbows in the ladies' room, i had an idea. maybe it's my inner jim. who's to say. whatever triggered the impulse, it seemed like the perfect way to liven up a friday afternoon.

13:15 EST - coast is clear. entered the ladies room. placed open lipstick on the shelf by the mirror, in case some came in and i had to look busy. jimmied open the toilet seat cover dispenser and took out the full pack. quickly stuffed into the garbage. closed the dispenser. washed hands a few times - part homage to irony, part hoping to fill the garbage up with paper towels to cover the confiscated paper seat covers.

13:17 EST - inform office co-conspirator of my plan. waited until after the deed was done - didn't want to be talked out of it.

13:18 EST - loud guffaws from the co-conspirator's office. plan well-received.

13:19 EST - back in my cube. am close enough to the restroom to hear the door open and close (and the toilet flush. that discussion is for another day). the clock on the wall ticks loudly, like a little unsanitary bomb just waiting to go off. i wait.

13:54 EST - the janitor makes an unscheduled mid-day appearance to the sixth floor. am giddy that my plan has already worked.

13:58 EST - janitor leaves.

13:59 EST - check the ladies room. no new paper seat covers, but the dispenser has been opened. the cover hangs down, announcing to the world that it's empty. who opened it?

14:02 EST - an unidentified woman enters the ladies room (use astute deduction skills to assume it's a woman because she entered the ladies room). some rustling, no toilet flush. exits the ladies room.

14:04 EST - fake sniffle like i have to blow my nose so cube-mate won't get suspicious. re-enter ladies' room for inspection.

14:04 EST - confirm to co-conspirator that paper toilet seat covers have been replaced.

14:07-10 EST - notice three famously germ-a-phobic women enter ladies room. decided i must come up with a plan to uncover the head germ-a-phob narc.

14:13 EST - realize i still have three hours before i can go home. crap.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

on feeling out of place here in october

tigers, meet october. october, tigers. been a while.

thanks to some sudden storms in new york last night, i found myself in the law school lounge today with my lunch, headphones plugged into the laptop and listening to detroit sport radio and trying to contain my anxiety. when verlander wiggled his way out of the bases loaded early in the game, i was giddy and ready to yell, but quickly noticed all the popped-collared 23-year-olds around me yelling at their laptops.

being a midwesterner in dc, i know i'm out of place. even more so where i go to school. but i felt a more profound difference click into place. after game one, i did a little research and had discovered that the yankees' payroll (as of april) was $194.6 million. the tigers: $82.6 million. the tigers' payroll is 42% the size of the yankees'. every starter in the yanks' lineup has been to the all-star game at least once (in fact, the only guy who's only been once is batting ninth). when you buy an all-star team, how are the rest of us supposed to compete? it's elitist. and it's not right.

elitist. now i've been accused (perhaps rightly so) of being elitist ... but it's somehow different. i realized that if i had engaged any of the popped collars about the difference in payroll and how that was just fundamentally unfair ... i don't think i would have been well-received. maybe i'm a work-ethic elitist. i think that money shouldn't get you places, hard work should. i just don't think it's authentic, and what i love about baseball is that it's - authentic. largely unchanged by technology (steroids notwithstanding, another scolding blog to come another day). genuine. unpredictable. at the whim of the baseball gods or karma or (sometimes i believe) how determinedly i can cross my fingers and hope.

the tigers, of course, took the day. back to detroit for two games, needing only those two to send the dynasty money built back to the bronx. who can say what will happen. but as i sit in class with the students whose parents have bought them beemers and are footing the six-figure law school bill, private school from age 5, never having known what it's like to know their parents can't pay the mortgage (i'm looking at you, catgirl - you too, R)... the fact that sometimes midwesterners with strong work ethics and no pedigree can hang with the popped collars - it wasn't lost on me.

p.s. not sure why it's saying i posted this yesterday. i'm not psychic. the date is just wrong.

Monday, October 02, 2006

An open letter to the germ-a-phobs who work in my office building

I’ve been meaning to write this letter for a while now, but today’s ridiculous events have convinced me that it’s high-time we’ve had a talk, ladies. This event, of course, is when apparently a code-blue alert was issued upon our ladies room running out of paper toilet seat covers.

I mean, you called the janitor?

You. Called. The. Janitor.

Um, yes, is this the emergency janitorial central headquarters? Yes, I need to report that a restroom on the sixth floor of the coldest office building in the metro DC area has run out of paper toilet seat covers. Yes. Just now. Please hurry!

Nevermind that we’re getting frostbite on our typing fingers and I think one of the penguins that has taken up in the back cubicle has it out for me. No, no. Paper toilet seat covers. Priorities.

It might be important to note that there are probably 12-15 women on my floor, and we share a three-stall restroom. I’ve been in some skanky bathrooms, and I assure you that this one is fine. Seriously. Yet, the majority of the middle-aged women on this floor insist on the paper toilet seat cover and wash their hands like their prepping for brain surgery. And god forbid they’d have to touch the sink handle with their … actual … skin. Ladies. What in the name of all things holy do you expect to catch in this bathroom?!

Let me assure you that I’m a clean person. In fact, I even have a little Purell bottle on my keychain. Just in case. Ok, I get cleanliness! But my god this isn’t the kind of bathroom where a doctor is having sex with a dying patient in a bar! This is an office building. It’s an office building that’s cleaned regularly. And you push paper, not clots through someone’s arteries.

Heretofore, I’ve just laughed at the strange, collective, germ-a-phobia that engulfs my office. But please, ladies, let’s just not make the nice janitor lady cut her lunch short so you can place that thin piece of paper between your deriere and the porcelain, hm?